PDF Crop and Transparent Background Preferences

This article applies only to users that are merging variable PDF files with DesignMerge.


In versions of DesignMerge prior to the CC 2018 version, when users merged variable PDF files, the PDF files where imported and cropped using the InDesign PDF "Crop to:" and "Transparent Background" preferences that were in effect at the time of the merge. The only way to change this cropping behavior was to change InDesign's default preferences. This was accomplished by placing a PDF file into a document manually (using File>>Place), and to check the "Show Import Options" checkbox. This allowed the user to change the PDF import settings, which then remained in effect for subsequent DesignMerge merge sessions.


Starting with the CC 2018 version of DesignMerge Pro, a new preference item was added to independently control the PDF "Crop to:" and "Transparent PDF" settings that are used during a merge. This ensures that identical settings can be maintained across workstations that are running DesignMerge.

To access these preferences, open the DesignMerge Preferences and click on the "PDF..." button. This will open a dialog window that will allow you to make these selections. The Preference settings selected here will be applied to all variable PDF file merges across all documents that are processed by DesignMerge.


The default setting for this new preference option is Use Default. This selection was provided to ensure backward compatibility with documents prepared using earlier versions of the software. The Use Default setting mimics the behavior of previous versions of DesignMerge by setting the Crop to and Transparent PDF settings to those that were in effect the last time a PDF file was manually placed into a document.